The underdog is a title usually given to artists/rappers who have almost everything against them. Put at a disadvantage from the start, it’s a given that the individual has nothing to lose and everything to gain but the focus is you. Given Mac Miller’s recent independent success among others, the idea of a label being needed to succeed in the industry is debatable but the supporters? They are always a critical staple. They make up how great the artist can truly be.

With that knowledge, ask yourself: What gets you to listen to new music? What drives you to follow a new artist on his or her journey? What makes you care as artists work to put together new tracks to paint mental pictures solely for our enjoyment? It’s all taste, how relatable you can be, and sadly in enough cases worth mentioning, it’s who you know. The obvious lies with taste, meaning that the sound an artist creates just may or may not be what the people want to hear, but as time progresses this is becoming nearly impossible with the range of tunes and influences brought into Hip Hop. How relatable an artist is can be one of the bigger pieces of the puzzle, as people tend to support the artist that taps into emotions and says what they can’t say on such a platform. Artists like Drake for example, came up due to the praise of his So Far Gone mixtape which is critically acclaimed, but the subject matter surrounded emotions we experience everyday. Finally the idea of acquaintances and friends in the industry. Being familiar with the right individuals can make you familiar with success. If those with power want to see you succeed, they’ll assist you and a push in the right direction can be a crucial move in building a career in not only Hip Hop, but music in general. None of it is possible however, without the support those who check the blogs, buy albums and read the reviews, opening yourself to new artists. That said, Nerd Ferguson may be (and probably is) new to you, but this might be a solid artist you wish you would’ve heard sooner.

Okay, I’m Reloaded!

The Intro opens with a childlike voice reminiscing over Nerd’s year prior to the release of his album, speaking on how it feels like it was only a moment ago when he released his last 3 mixtapes. The voice speaks for a short moment before we’re thrown into a simple verse littered with Nerd’s confident rhymes. The beat doesn’t overwhelm but instead serves its purpose and allows the Nerd to get across his thoughts briefly arriving at the point that this project is Not a mixtape.

Ferg killin in this sh*t, killing lyricists, specialty? Killing Lyrics is…

Calm sounds play in the beginning before getting adjusted and switched up into a reckless beat allowing Nerd Ferg to let loose lyrically. Interestingly titled “WARNING: Don’t Sign Me” the track follows an entirely self-aware, overly cocky and disrespectfully real feel, as Ferguson switches up his flows as he chops away at the beat. His confidence in his delivery carries the feel that he is entitled to a record deal but he plays with the listener by reminding them of why he shouldn’t have one in the first place, speaking of his plans with the check like buying sneakers, and having 3 hummers. Despite his obviously satirical hook, the track itself is solid with great production.

Who the fu*k you think you is? Who the fu*k am I kidding…

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is mixed differently and opens the track up followed by a building beat. Ferguson spends the track reminding an ex of sorts that the potential they had was worth hanging on to in “We Coulda Had It All”. It serves it’s purpose and shows Ferguson’s range in choice moments where he croons over the beat. It’s the realistic emotion that comes through in Ferg’s lines that carry the track along.

It always bugged me out that being a rapper went from something that I could use to become friends with people, to something that I had to hide from people in order to not come across as a cornball…

Day In the Life is a great 4 and a half minutes of Nerd’s perspective, surrounding his ideas on Hip Hop. From the struggle that comes with trying to be great in rap to those who are critical of the artist in question, NF’s solemn point of view carries the track along.

I’m just doing what I love doing, which is not doing what you scrubs doing…

A very popular, familiar flow you might recognize come through on the hook which carries the short track along, supported with a quick verse discussing his satisfaction with where he’s going.

Catching balls like Lynn Swann, Dodging balls like Vince Vaughn…

The catchy and infectious “Lesbi-Honest” opens up tackling a unique, almost laughable topic of discussion in women who find themselves trying to like other women. The first verse is decent while the artist featured DeFakto coasts over the midsection of the track. Ferg closes it with a somewhat mediocre verse wrapping up what is still one of the stronger tracks on the project.

Game Need Change…

“Said they need a hero, someone you can believe in, who will never let you down” Chants Nerd Ferg in the hook on the powerful “I Am Here To Save You All”, produced by Pat Preezy who also produced the previous banger. On this Nerd cuts loose and lets the braggadocio fly, claiming Hip Hop is in shambles and proudly accepting the weight that comes with rebuilding it. The confidence is at an all time high on this one and it’s not a bad thing at all, as this is one of the better tracks on the entire project.

Something like a phenomenon, when I turn the lights on the Elantra on…

A smooth enchanting beat that cruises right with Ferg’s flow defines the instrumental behind the second installment of Hyundai Elantra Music, produced by the talented Lee Treble. A good hook, and solid verses make this a track thats hard to get tired of.

All we wanna do is Party, and Bullsh*t, and Party, and Bullsh*t…

A semi-soulful “P.B.S” comes on next, featuring fellow independent artist Taeiom. A feel good track at the most, the track is sufficient and far from agitating to the ears, but can very possibly be one of those records you’d have to be in the mood to hear.

That’s Crazy!

One of the best records on the entire project happens to also have the craziest title. “Doing Lines with Oprah” has fantastic production (crafted by Lee Treble) and effectively switches up with the verses and hook while still remaining in the same lane of sound, all of which being catchy and enjoyable. It lends itself to the project itself well and even stands out as single material without compromising Nerd’s feel, the track overall surrounding how crazy love can make Ferg when he’s with the right one.

I don’t care about the rest, Insomniac, I don’t care about the rest…

On “Say No to Drugs” Ferguson is accompanied by an artist by the name of Travesty as they “talk that romantic shit” as Nerd puts it in the opening 15 seconds of the track. A decent track that has an interesting feel to it despite the overall point of it. Slightly nostalgic in terms of it’s vibe, it’s alright at best.

She in the ride and she about to see her Love again…

A cleverly written and well executed track,”Kim’s Car Dash” centers around Nerd’s tale of a woman who leaves her man in their home and gets in her car, leaving him behind to go see the one who makes her feel unlike any other. “The way she loves him she could never love another man” Nerd repeats in the hook, shaping the story around this woman before leading up to a surprising conclusion before the last hook.

We tried to make it work, you cried cause you was hurt…

The song titled “Our Love” isn’t as lengthy as other tracks on the project and feels almost like an interlude considering it’s only 2 and a half minutes long, but much is covered in terms of Nerd’s relationship with a woman. The feelings come across clear, the beat lacks but it’s simplicity isn’t too much of an issue as Nerd’s lines take over as the complete focus and they serve their purpose.

When it comes to Race Relations…

“Race Relations” has a promising concept of scenarios in which women and men of different nationalities decide to make decisions that lead to complications between families. Sexual intercourse is the focus and the idea isn’t bad at all, but the track overall doesn’t deliver as much as it could’ve, and overall just feels flat.

We do this for You…

The untitled 15th track is soul powered with a lackluster hook but that can be overlooked by the lyricism from featured artists DeFakto, Box & Won and the focus himself, Nerd Ferguson. The instrumental is one that is only as good as the artists on it in particular and that said, this is only slightly unsatisfactory.

I know you love me right, just tryna do what I can to make it Come Alive…

A warped sample drops into a beat pushed by Nerd’s feelings and reflections revolving around Hip Hop. Admittedly a slave to it, he delivers a powerful track that captures his refusal to quit. A fitting end to the 16 track long album.

This is what we read blogs for. This what Soundcloud, iTunes previews among other things in this field exist for. No one wants to pay for what they won’t enjoy but everyone wants to support the artists they believe are worth it and that’s always easy to see when it comes to talent in the spotlight. However, when it comes to unsigned or new blood, its always questionable. That said, Nerd Ferguson is the underdog. He’s the self-aware, scrappy, rebel-rouser in rap form who loves Hip Hop and that’s what makes him more relatable than most artists. His love for Hip Hop has yet to be thrown to the shadow by fame, which means he’s still unsigned and still hungry. This shows more than anything in his album “B*tch, Where’s my Sandwich” which carries all sorts of tracks from those which display lyrical strength, to those that impress solely on their range. I tend not to review unsigned artists until I feel they’re worth listening to. So what’re you waiting for? Go do your ears a favor and listen to the product, and if you enjoy it go support the MC, just for his potential alone he deserves it.

Go Download/Stream Nerd Ferguson’s “B*tch, Where’s My Sandwich” Here.

OVERALL: 7.5/10
Timeless Tracks: WARNING: Dont’ Sign Me, I Am Here To Save You All, Lesbi-Honest, Doing Lines with Oprah

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